• “Courts ‘Recognizing the Obvious on Climate”

    Telegraph Journal, Daily Gleaner, Times Transcript - March 11, 2019

    The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance was an intervener in the recent Saskatchewan Court of Appeals reference case on the federal carbon pricing “backstop.”

    Those opposing carbon pricing portrayed the case as strictly a constitutional matter of jurisdiction, and chose not to discuss the issue of climate change. However, one of the first questions the Chief Justice asked Saskatchewan’s lawyer was: “If (climate change) literally imperils the future of the planet, should it be taken into account?” 

    There was little doubt why the Justice asked this question. The Court had received overwhelming evidence about climate change and its calamitous effects. 

    Our group submitted judicial decisions from courts around the world, based on the principle that increased greenhouse gases emissions from anywhere, no matter how small the amount, add to the global totals that threaten everyone. 

    Clearly the courts are now recognizing the obvious about climate change and the elemental part fossil fuels play in it. 

    Saskatchewan and its co-plaintiffs, realizing that being “deniers” is no longer politically acceptable, proclaim concern about climate change. But their claims ring hollow, as all these provinces have recently elected Progressive Conservative governments whose climate policies belie their words.

    Sadly, New Brunswick is a case in point. Its signature energy policies of a new shale gas industry and a resurrection of the Energy East bitumen pipeline contradict concern about climate change, despite official rhetoric to the contrary.

    The first necessity to slow climate change is to stop creating additional greenhouse-gas emissions from new fossil fuel sources. This is the very thing that carbon pricing is designed to deter.

    How could New Brunswick meet any greenhouse gas limits while starting a shale gas industry that would create huge volumes of emissions from leaking methane and from burning large quantities of diesel fuel and gasoline?

    Reviving Energy East is a fantasy few experts consider viable, not least because its approval would have to consider the climate effects of its upstream and downstream emissions. It didn’t face that requirement last time around, but would now.

    By misreading climate change considerations, and fossil fuel market forces, our government’s policies both suffered setbacks.

    After promising that Corridor Inc. had millions of dollars to immediately invest in local shale gas, the premier appeared to be blindsided when Corridor said it wouldn’t be drilling new wells until 2021, and only if it found a financial partner.

    This should not have been a surprise. The gas market is flooded. Shale gas has never been profitable for lenders and investors, who are now demanding long-delayed paybacks. The easy money spigot is closing, making it tougher to get financial backing.

    A recent Supreme Court decision, finding environmental clean-up obligations have precedence over repaying loans, has made banks warier about fossil fuel investments.

    Mr. Higgs has countered with the position that local shale gas could replace gas from Nova Scotia’s about-to-close Sable Island facility. However, gas suppliers, noting that a new local shale gas solution was years away, announced they would supply the Maritimes with western gas via the pipeline that was the centrepiece of Energy East. 

    With Energy East dead, and with no apparent market justification for local shale gas, Mr. Higgs now gives us a truly convoluted policy rationalization for both.

    He would have us believe a local shale gas industry (years in the making) would convince gas pipeline companies and western producers to give up their Maritime business, and once again go through the near-impossible task of Energy East approval.

    Besides needing dozens of things to go exactly right, the many years required would bring this plan to fruition at the very time when fossil fuels must be reduced by nearly half, and when carbon pricing would be at a maximum. It strains credulity.

    Readers should note these setbacks to the premier’s plans are not due to political opposition, or environmental activism, but rather to business decisions and market forces in the industry. 

    Climate change, by necessity, will be a major market force in reducing fossil fuels, while cheap renewable energy is another. 

    Energy planners and pundits should begin recognizing the obvious, as Alberta just did in contracting three new solar farms to provide 55 per cent of the government’s electricity, at nearly half the cost of natural gas.

    The U.S. Permian Basin, the heart of shale oil, produces so much accompanying gas they pay to get rid of it. Yet, plans for the industry’s electricity needs include a solar farm and the world’s largest battery.

    Despite many similar examples, Mr. Higgs maintains renewable energy is still too expensive, and continues dealing in the false hopes of fossil fuel riches. Both ideas are from a bygone era.

    The climate threat and market forces clearly indicate there is no future in a local shale gas industry. We, too, need to recognize the obvious.

    Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, an organization intervened in the recent court challenge over carbon pricing in Saskatchewan.

  • FREDERICTON — On Wednesday, Sept. 2, Donald Arseneault, Minister of Energy and Mines, released the draft regulation to allow small-scale renewable energy generation projects in New Brunswick.

    The regulation is available online for 30 days of public input.

    Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, issued the following statement:

    “I’m pleased to see the Minister release this new regulation, following so closely on the heels of the Premier’s announcement of new strong targets to reduce carbon pollution from N.B. sources. Providing the means and the market for renewable energy projects here at home is a welcomed and sensible action.

    I encourage the leaders in environmental and renewable industries and local champions of projects that protect their communities to take a look at this package and submit their comments.”

    The regulation sets out explicit policies devoted to the task of making sure N.B. gets at least 40 per cent of its electricity from clean renewable sources.

    It sets out the criteria for co-ops, First Nations, non-profit groups and local communities to put on their thinking caps about how they can lead the charge to reduce carbon pollution by installing solar, wind, and tidal technologies.

    The regulation also requires NB Power to report its progress every year from now to 2020 in a transparent and public manner.

    Over the past five years, solar-module costs have dropped by 73 per cent. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, there are 2.5 million people working in solar PV jobs worldwide. In Canada, the number of people working in the renewable energy industry rose by 37 per cent between 2009 and 2013, and the sector now employs more Canadians than the oil sands in Alberta.

    -30-

    For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Jon MacNeill, Communications Officer | 458-8747 | 261-1353 | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca
  • Falls Brook Centre as you know is a registered charity and demonstration centre, committed to finding and promoting practical solutions to today's sustainability challenges. We are dedicated to the goals of inspiring people to work together using environmentally sound practices to create thriving local communities. What does this look like? Highlighting local economies, renewable energy options, and economically and ecologically sound land management techniques that work on the quarter-acre to 5,000 acre scales. On the ground, this is all about education aimed at all ages and addresses. If this sounds like something you could be a part of, I encourage you to visit our website and social media pages and consider becoming a Board member to make a real difference in the lives of New Brunswickers.

    http://fallsbrookcentre.ca/wp/get-involved/volunteer-opportunities/

  • ClimateLetterWideBanner.sml
    From intense rain, wind and ice storms bringing flooding and power outages, to hotter days and seasons bringing dry summers and ticks, a lot of us are feeling anxious and on edge about climate change in New Brunswick.

    We need strong leadership from our provincial government to do everything it can to protect our families’ health and communities’ safety from the effects of climate change and extreme weather we’re already seeing today.

    This year, make your Earth Day count a little extra by writing Premier Blaine Higgs about your concerns and your call for serious action on climate change.

    We’ve made it easy for you to speak out. Use our letter-writing tool below to let the Premier know where you stand and what you want.Our pre-written letter includes recommendations for smart climate solutions. We strongly encourage you to add to this letter with your own personal story of how climate change makes you feel and how it has affected you and your family.

    Letter button

  • Ecotour 2 1

    Have you wondered what you can do to lessen your home’s carbon footprint? Would you like to learn more about the options available to you and the practical steps you can take to make a real difference? Here is your chance to see what homeowners in your community are doing to live sustainably.

    Get inspired and find out what innovative homeowners are doing in your neighborhood by signing up to participate in our Passport to a Low Carbon Future EcoHome Tour scheduled for June 9 in southwestern New Brunswick. 

    Organized by dedicated volunteers from the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the Saint John chapter of the Council of Canadians, the tour will shine a spotlight on low-carbon homes and public buildings in Bocabec, Letete, Saint John, Quispamsis and the Kingston Peninsula.  Click here to register.


    TIME & LOCATION : ST. ANDREWS : 9:00 AM– 1:00 PM / SAINT JOHN : 12:00 PM– 5:00 PM



    Visit an off-grid artist’s cabin in the woods; a home with rammed earth construction, solar and wind power, green roof, and a permaculture garden; a timber frame, passive solar, straw wall, earth berm home with sod roof; a LEED Gold Certified building, an innovative recreational complex, an 18 room inn using solar energy for hot water heating, the First Certified CHBA Net Zero Home in New Brunswick; an off-grid hobby farm; an off-grid boatbuilding workshop and more.

    The home owners and business people on the tour will be there to answer your questions about how they went about reducing their carbon footprint and the challenges they encountered along the way.

    UPDATE: We will be sending out an e-brochure with descriptions and directions to the EcoHomes to everyone who has registered sometime in the third week of May.

    After the tour, we invite you to join us for a chance to meet and greet and share information and light refreshments starting at 5 p.m. at the fabulous Elmhurst Outdoors at 65 Ganong Road on the Kingston Peninsula.


  • Select Committee engages all New Brunswickers in growing the green economy

    FREDERICTON —
     Establishing a Select Committee on Climate Change is an excellent step toward engaging all New Brunswickers in the important work of growing our economy and protecting our communities from extreme weather and sea level rise.

    The Legislative Assembly voted unanimously in support of a motion to establish the all-party committee on Friday, April 9. The Conservation Council applauds the members of the House and looks forward to participating in this public process.

    “This is an opportunity to let all New Brunswickers get involved in the plan to move us smoothly and successfully toward a low-carbon economy,” says Executive Director Lois Corbett.

    Select committees are a way for government to include all New Brunswickers in the investigation of important subjects. Select committees report to all members of the legislative assembly and typically hold public hearings where citizens, government officials and expert witnesses are invited to appear.

    The motion, introduced by Environment Minister Brian Kenny, states: “The government recognizes that investing in clean technology solutions, especially in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and cleaner energy production and use, holds great promise for sustainable economic development and long-term job creation.”

    It also recognizes climate change as the single most significant challenge of our generation, stating: “New Brunswick is already experiencing impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, extreme rainfall events, coastal and inland flooding, more coastal erosion, heat waves, some migration of invasive species, and diseases.”

    The motion asks the Select Committee to hold public consultations and gives it the power to meet, hold hearings, and release a report whether the House is sitting or not.

    While commending government for introducing the motion, Corbett urges legislators and committee members to move quickly on this important work. “The committee should focus on putting New Brunswick’s best foot forward as the federal government continues work on the national climate plan,” she says.

    “As Minister Kenny says in his motion, acting on the challenge of climate change won’t just protect us from the impacts communities are already experiencing — it’s the best course of action to create jobs in our province,” Corbett concludes.

    The Select Committee on Climate Change is composed of: Andrew Harvey (Lib), the Member for Carleton-Victoria; Bernard LeBlanc (Lib), the Member for Memramcook-Tantramar; Monique LeBlanc (Lib), the Member for Moncton East, John Ames (Lib), the Member for Charlotte-Campobello; Wilfred Roussel (Lib), the Member for Shippagan-Lamèque-Miscou, Jody Carr (PC), the Member for Oromocto- Lincoln, Brian Keirstead (PC), the Member for Albert; and David Coon (Green), the Member for Fredericton South.

    Read the motion here.
    -30-

    To arrange an interview, contact: Jon MacNeill, Communications. Officer: 458-8747; Cell: 261-1353; Email: jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca
  •  
    The Voice of the People Tour town hall meeting for Fredericton South is being held this Wednesday evening, April 30, 2014, at Christ Church Cathedral Memorial Hall, 168 Church Street from 7:00-9:00 pm. The Voice of the People Tour is in 30+ communities across the province, giving citizens their say in building a better energy future for New Brunswick.

    The Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter will announce to the public at tonight's meeting that it is organizing a ‘Meet the Candidates Q&A’ for the riding of Fredericton South.
     

    This ‘Meet the Candidates Q&A’ meeting will be held Thursday, September 4, 2014 at Christ Church Cathedral Memorial Hall, 168 Church Street from 7:00-9:00 pm.

    Invitations have just gone out to the known candidates David Coon (Green Party), Kelly Lamrock (NDP), and Craig Leonard (PC and the incumbent MLA). The purpose of this meeting is to provide constituents with an opportunity to ask questions of their MLA candidates and to hear their positions on issues which concern constituents.

    The Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter will be encouraging communities across the province to organize their own ‘Meet the Candidates’ Q&A meetings. All of these meetings will be citizen-led and non-partisan.


    DATE:Wednesday evening, April 30, 2014
     

    TIME: 7:00PM-9:00PM
     

    LOCATION: Christ Church Cathedral Memorial Hall, 168 Church St. Fredericton NB


  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results for Perth Andover NB May 21 2014

    1. Government should represent people not the Irvings (18)

    2. Create local jobs that stay in the community (10)

    3. (tie)
    - Stop media control by Irving (9)

    - Kick the Alward government out (9)

    - Pressure government to kick-start renewable energy (9)

    4. (tie)
    - Give back control of our forests to NBers. Remove control by Irving (8)

    - No pipeline (8)

    - Elect politicians who don't want shale gas (8)

    5. (tie)
    - Create your own job - more opportunity for small business, self sufficiency (7)

    - Cultivate Hemp (7)

    6. Promote food products from our forests, ecotourism, native medicines (6)

    7. (tie)
    - Keep big logs and trees and process them here, add value (4)

    - Community owned and run forestry (4)

    - Policies to replace imports with domestic goods (4)

    Study successful plans in Vermont, Nova Scotia, etc and implement here in NB (4)

    8. (tie)
    - Community gardens (3)

    - Maintain good jobs, education and health care (3)

    - People need to get informed (3)
  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results for Rexton NB and area May 14 2014

    Two hundred and more enthusiastic and engaged people from the Rexton and Kent County areas attended a standing room-only Voice of the People Tour stop at the Bonar Law High School Wednesday evening.

    Aboriginal, Acadian, English and other friends and neighbours spoke their minds on the issue of fracking and how they choose to take a stand in rejecting the shale gas industry while pursuing viable and locally-based solutions and alternatives to our 'Dig it Up, Cut it Down, Ship it Out'economy.


    Below are the results of the VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR Red Dot Poll for Rexton NB

    1. People of NB will not stand by and allow this (fracking) to happen (112 dots)

    2. Boycott Irving (83 dots)

    3. More emphasis on food security for Kent County (64 dots)

    4. On election day make a statement by voting for a party opposed to fracking (59 dots)

    5. SLAPP suits by SWN (South Western Energy) are unacceptable and will be challenged by individuals and by class action (53 dots)

    6. Honour Aboriginal land and rights (51 dots)

    7. Exploration test wells need to be opposed/stopped. "We have to stop before they drill" (36 dots)

    8. We need to get behind local & provincial politicians who have opposed shale gas (33 dots)

    9. Tools and incentives (e.g. community economic development investment funds) need to be made more available to assist communities to develop renewable energy programs (29 dots)

    10. Greater transparency from government regarding costs incurred from shale gas industry (impacts to air quality, water quality, public health, road maintenance, etc.) (18 dots)

    11. Organized tours of Penobsquis are available. It is important that we see and smell what the industry creates (17 dots)

    12. Speak out not only for yourself but for your wider community (11 dots)

    13. Phased environmental impact assessments (EIA) will be ineffective tools of a regulatory process (9 dots)

    14. Make personal submissions or complaints if medical conditions are potentially at risk by operations that may be planned to happen near or around your community (4 dots)

    15. Challenge the establishment and their use of words to obscure the truth & take away our rights (2 dots)
  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results for Stanley NB May 27 2014


    70 people attended the  Stanley Voice of the People Town Hall Wednesday evening. Here are the Red Dot Poll results:

    1) Need community meetings to generate ideas about creating our own industries, just like at this town hall meeting

    2) Our water must be protected!

    3) Stop the centralization of power and industry in NB ( lack of democracy)

    4) Moratorium on shale gas

    5) We want long term jobs for our children and a clean future

    6) Bring back sustainable forestry not plantations

    7) Business opportunities for wind energy in NB

    8) Need more tools to create small, local economies

    9) Keep our children here by rural development 

    10) Home owners need incentives to generate own power i.e. Solar, biogas, windmill
  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results Summary for Belledune, April 9, 2014

    Belledune April 9, 2014 Red Dot Poll results:


    1) We need to protect our water above all else.


    2) Belledune should pass a 10 year moratorium on shale. 


    3) Map aquifers


    4) (tie)

    - Ask politicians the hard questions

    - Government must classify our waterways

  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results Summary for Edmundston, April 9, 2014

    - 35 citizens (approx.) in attendance

    Edmundston April 10, 2014 Red Dot Poll results:

    1(tie) 

    -First nations: "You will not be bringing this(shale gas) to our territories" 

    -Don't forget about the Pipelines


    2(tie) 

    - Don't vote Red or Blue- any colour but that.

    - Take our province back, take our government back.

    - Take corporations out of politics

    - Look to areas that have succeeded in transitioning to a new way of thinking


    3 - Treaties protect us all


    4(tie)

    - True consultation with First Nations

    - Let's focus on what we want versus what we don't want.


    5 - Demand a moratorium on fracking 

  •     VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results Summary for St. Stephen and area, May 1, 2014


    1)  Stop (moratorium or ban) shale gas in NB to protect our water and 7 generations

    2)  Protect our aquifers

    3)  Take corporations out of politics

    4)  (Tie)

    -      We need value-added here in NB, e.g. wood products

    -      Allow hemp industry in NB

    5)  (Tie)

    -      NB must provide a complete set of tools to allow citizens, communities and co-ops, farmers, etc. to invest in local energy projects

    -      Community economic development investment funds

    -      Good feed-in tariff rate

    -      Investment tax credits for co-ops

    -      Begin community discussions on creating renewable energy opportunities

    6)  (Tie)

    -      Stop forest agreement with Irving. We need to get our crown forests back

    -      Change the way we vote: Kick out the Liberals and PC’s and vote in other party candidates

    -      Focus on renewable energy and our own communities. We need to take care of ourselves and do it sustainably. e.g. local food and local forestry


  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR:
    Red Dot Poll Results Summary for Woodstock, March 25 2014
    - 45 citizens (approx.) in attendance


    1) Shale gas moratorium

    2) Consult with First Nations before entering into resource agreements.

    3) Change Forest Act as BC, Quebec and Ontario have done

    4) (tie)
    -Discontinue subsidies to BIG corporations
    -People before profi

    5) (tie)
    - Government needs NEW thinking esp. jobs, value added, renewables
    - Windmills and small local energy generation
    - Energy efficiency

    6) Tour going to First Nation communities

    7) (tie)
    - Community bill of rights
    - Contact influential people in your community.
    - Education: Spread the word

    8) Proportional representation

    9) “ Land Caution” on Crown land

  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR:  RED DOT POLL SUMMARY
    FOR FREDERICTON NORTH, March 24 2014
    - 140 citizens (approx.) in attendance

    1) Stop subsidies to large profitable corporations



    2) A shale gas moratorium or ban in NB



    3) Investment tools of citizens, communities and co-ops:

    - Feed-in tariffs

    - Community Economic Dev't Investment Funds

    - Investment tax credits for co-ops

    - Long-term payback loans for solar/wind



    4) Proportional Representation



    5) (tie):    

    - Local manufacturing of energy-efficiency solutions

    - Elected leaders must offer viable CLEAN ENERGY solutions as a way to create jobs and create a sustainable civilization



    6) Lessen the control and monopoly of media in NB



    7) Solar energy development and investments



    8) Take back our democratic process



    9) Protect the water resources in NB

    10) (tie):

         -Town hall meetings

         - Cooperation between NDP and Green Party to prevent vote splitting

         - Government MUST listen to citizens

         - Journalists must be asking questions about gov’t decisions ( e.g. why forestry is creating so few jobs)

    11) (tie):

         -Tidal power

         - Promote cooperative enterprises

         - Invest in public education



    12) Create a local, regional food policy for NB



    13) (tie):

         - Mandatory for new homes/buildings to use solar energy

        - Aquifer mapping in NB

    14) (tie):

         - Encourage information technology: get young people into mobile media/film technology AND gov’t should use software created in NB.

           - Citizens must become more engaged and come out to rallies

    15) (tie)

         - Bring back energy efficiency

         - Better guidelines for building all new homes/buildings


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